Shannon Grove recognizes Kern County women in Military service

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Assemblywoman Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) recognized three Kern County military service members at the capitol this week to highlight women in the armed forces. Veterans Kathryn Nilon and Diane Baker and active-duty service member Sandra Presson, all of Bakersfield, were honored for their dedication to our country.
 
“These women paved the way for their fellow female service members and it is an honor to recognize them for their determination,” said Grove. “We need to recognize those who shaped our military and thank them for their leadership.”
 
The Kern County service members reflect three different eras of women in the armed forces. Kathryn Nilon served in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) medical service in 1951 and 1952, during the Korean War. The WAC, a branch of the U.S. Army created to enlist women into the armed service, was created during World War II. Nilon worked at the Murphy Army Hospital in Massachusetts. Diane Baker served in the U.S. Air Force from 1973 to 1978, and was the first female to be stationed as a mental health specialist on the psychiatric ward at March Air Force Base in southern California. This role enabled her to treat men returning from combat in Vietnam. She is now a fifth grade teacher at College Heights Elementary School in Bakersfield, where she leads a school-wide drive to provide hundreds of letters to veterans participating in the Kern County “Honor Flight.” Chief Petty Officer Presson enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserves in 1996 and performs her active duty time at the Navy Medical Center in San Diego, where she serves as the senior enlisted leader for an 18-member detachment. When not serving as a reservist, she works as a registered nurse in Bakersfield.
 
Assemblywoman Grove acknowledged the women on the floor of the State Assembly on Thursday during the introduction of House Resolution 11, a measure she co-authored to recognize women in the armed forces. Grove, who served in the U.S. Army, was the first female veteran in the California State Assembly and is a member of the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs.

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